The Chinese have been making salted duck eggs since the 6th century. It’s a delicacy that has found its way into the cuisines of other Asian countries including the Philippines. It’s so widely available that I’ve never been tempted to do the pickling myself.
But. And here’s a big BUT. Not all salted duck eggs are created equal. Well made ones have oily yolks. But it’s hard to judge the quality of the egg until after you’ve shelled and cut it. So, when I discovered salted egg yolk paste, I almost jumped with glee.
I was searching for Chinese sesame seed paste when I saw this. Too tempting not to try. In my mind, I was already counting the dishes that I could integrate salted egg yolk paste into.
It’s pure salted duck egg yolk that had been processed into a puree. It’s thick and lovely. And it’s pretty potent. When I added it to my garlic fried rice, I used only two heaping teaspoons for two cups of rice.
First, I pounded three cloves of garlic and fried them in a little oil over low heat. I wanted to flavor the oil so it had to be low heat. Otherwise, the garlic would have burned before dispersing its flavor into the oil.
Next, I dropped in two heaping teaspoonfuls of salted egg yolk into the pan with the oil and garlic. Still working over low leat, I stirred the paste into the oil until it bubbled and thinned out.
The rice went into the pan, the heat was turned up and the rice was stir fried until the grains acquired the color of the salted egg yolk paste.
I tasted the rice and decided I needed to add a little salt. It was tempting to add even more salted egg yolk paste but that might have ruined the balance. I wanted to taste the egg in the rice but not be overwhelmed by it. So, a few pinches of salt went in, the rice was tossed thoroughly to even out the flavors and my salted egg and garlic fried rice was ready to be served.
Salted duck egg and garlic fried rice
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 3 cloves garlic - pounded
- 2 heaping teaspoons salted duck egg yolk paste - available in Asian groceries
- 2 cups day-old rice
- salt - to taste
- fried shallots - to garnish
- torn cilantro - to garnish
- Set a frying pan over low heat, pour in the oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan.
- Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant (do not wait for the garlic to brown too much).
- Add the salted duck egg yolk paste and stir until bubbly.
- Add the rice, turn up the heat and stir fry until the rice is heated through and the coloring is even.
- Taste, add salt as needed, and toss thoroughly.
- Top your salted egg ang garlic fried rice with fried shallots and cilantro, and serve.